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Abstract #1068

Blast-Induced Neurotrauma Results in Spatially Distinct Gray Matter Alteration alongside Hormonal Alteration

Sarah Hellewell1 and Ibolja Cernak2
1Curtin University, Nedlands, Australia, 2Mercer University, Macon, GA, United States

Blast-induced neurotrauma (BINT) occurs frequently in military personnel, who are also vulnerable to occupational stress. This study compared Canadian Armed Forces members/Veterans with a history of BINT to emergency first responders, performing voxel-based morphometry on T1-weighted images to examine gray matter alteration, and assessment of stress-related hormones to delineate BINT effects from stress. We found widespread, symmetric loci of reduced gray matter volume specific to BINT, which occurred alongside significant increases in testosterone, cortisol and the testosterone/cortisol ratio. These results indicate that BINT may cause structural and endocrine alterations unseen in emergency service workers who experienced occupational stress alone.

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